Suppose a friend were to give you a very expensive watch as a gift. That would be awesome, huh?
Your friend holds out the gift to you so you reach out and take it. But instead of saying thank you for the beautiful gift you reach in your pocket, pull out some money and offer it to your friend as payment. That would be an insult to your friend wouldn’t it?
A gift is something that you receive for free. You don’t pay for a gift. Not even a penny. If your friend took even that one penny then you would have paid something towards the watch and it wouldn’t be a total gift anymore.
In the same way, God offers Heaven as a free gift and when we try to do ANYTHING to get it then we are trying to pay for His FREE GIFT ourselves.
Some people think if they do good deeds, go to church, give to charities, etc. that will get them to Heaven. But we can’t work our way to Heaven. Jesus died on the cross and paid for our sin in full. He took the punishment we deserve because of our sin. When we reach out to Jesus and ask His forgiveness He gives us eternal life in Heaven. It’s all because of Jesus not what we do to earn it. It’s a free gift.